Rohingya, Migrants Add to New HIV Patients in Bangladesh

The Forcibly Displace Myanmar Nationals (FDMN) and the migrant workers have constituted about 34 per cent of the newly infected HIV patients in Bangladesh, according to data revealed by the migrant rights activists recently.  

Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP) program manager A A Mamun Nasim who made a PowerPoint presentation at a discussion said that in Bangladesh the first HIV case was detected in 1989 and the HIV prevalence remained less than 0.01% amongst general population.

He also said that HIV prevalence remained about 3.9% amongst the Key Population mostly in PWID with an estimated number of People Living with HIV at 14,000.

“Newly infected in 2020 is 658 including 124 FDMN. The General population is of 33%, Migrant 15%, FDMN 19%,” he said in his presentation.

On December 2, 2020, the Community Forum of Bangladesh, a platform of KAP-(Key Affected People in regards to HIV/AIDS) organised the consultation meeting entitled ‘Connecting the Dots for Inclusive Development’ to celebrate ‘World AIDS Day 2020’ as a part of 16 days of Activism.

Activists, physicians, law enforcers, representatives from national and international organizations who took part in the discussion stressed the need for engagement of vulnerable communities in the process of combating HIV virus infection in the country.

They also suggested creating awareness about the disease among the people properly.

Dr. Md. Abdul Wadud, Programme Manager, AIDS/ STD Programme, DGHS,  Shehela Pervin, AIG (audit) & Country Focal Point of LEAHN of Bangladesh Police, Dr. Saima Khan, Country Manager, UNAIDS Bangladesh and Dr. M. Ziya Uddin, HIV/AIDS Specialist, UNICEF Bangladesh among others also spoke at the consultation.

The data showed HIV prevalence which remains less than 0.01 per cent amongst general population. The deadly virus prevalence remains about 3.9 per cent amongst the key population mostly in People Inject With Drug (PWID) in the country.

Estimated number of people living with HIV is 14,000 at present in Bangladesh. A total of 141 people died of HIV virus in 2020.

Around 658 people have been infected with HIV virus in 2020, of which 124 Rohingya people, the presentation also showed.

An estimated 26 million people were on HIV treatment as of mid-June this year, up only by 2.4 per cent from the end 2019 estimate of 25.4 million people. By comparison, treatment coverage increased by 4.8 per cent between January and June of 2019.

The community forum is formed with the people who are more vulnerable to HIV AIDS which includes—Transgender, female sex workers (FSW), people inject with drug (PWID), people lives with HIV (PLHIV), male having sex with male (MSM), migrant workers and youth.

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